Rajkummar Rao's satire Newton fails to make cut at Oscars

Updated: Dec 16, 2017, 10:01 IST | Mohar Basu | Mumbai

Rajkummar's satire doesn't feature in the top nine films for Academy's Best Foreign Language Film category

India's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars 2018, Newton, is out of the race for the honour. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced yesterday that nine films will advance to the next round of voting. Newton, directed by Amit V Masurkar and starring Rajkummar Rao in a story set against the backdrop of elections in the world's largest democracy, didn't make it to that list.

Still from Newton
Still from Newton

The loss hasn't fazed Masurkar, who compares running for the Oscars with fighting an Olympic race. "It's a great feeling to have come this far. At the Oscars, only the best compete. While we got an encouraging response after our film was screened there, we were aware that the competition would be tough. We made a great film, one that stirred an impact. It was selected as my country's official pick. That's a pretty great feeling too."

Masurkar says he was aware that his film was being pitted against favourites like Fatih Akin's In The Fade, and Russian filmmaker Andrey Zvyagintsev's Loveless. Both the films made it to the top nine. Newton had opened to rave reviews across festival circuits, and even bagged the Best Screenplay, and Best Actor honours at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards last month.

Amit Masurkar
Amit Masurkar

The shortlisted films have been selected from 92 titles that had originally been considered in the category. So far, Mother India (1957), Salaam Bombay (1998), and Lagaan: Once Upon A Time In India (2001) are the only Indian films that made it to the top five in the category. But, none have won the honour. Nominations for all categories of the Academy Awards will be announced on January 23. The ceremony will be held on March 4 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

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The top nine films that cleared the list
> A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
> In The Fade (Germany)
> On Body And Soul (Hungary)
> Foxtrot (Israel)
> The Insult (Lebanon)
> Loveless (Russia)
> Felicite (Senegal)
> The Wound (South Africa)
> The Square (Sweden)

Loveless (Russia)
Loveless (Russia)

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